Pam Durant speaks with Sarah Cann, a highly experienced and qualified Podiatrist, about the importance of foot care for people with diabetes. The foot is truly one of the most overlooked parts of the body when it comes to preventive care. Sarah shares her years of experience with us. She also provides some exclusive insights and tips that we can do to take care of our feet and avoid some of the most common issues.

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Foot care in diabetes management - Diapoint podcast

Sarah Cann is a podiatrist who is passionate about supporting people with diabetes.

She graduated in 2009 from the University of Wales Institute, Cardiff with a BSc in Podiatry. She has over 10 years of experience in podiatry working with both the NHS in the UK, and in private practice in Dubai. She also worked with the ‘Foot at Risk’ team in Pembrokeshire, West Wales where she worked in the areas of diabetes and wound care.

Episode 09: The Importance of Foot Care in Diabetes Management, with Sarah Cann

Pam 0:02

Hello and welcome to Dia-logue, the Diapoint podcast. I’m your host, Pam Durant. In today’s episode, I will be speaking with Sarah Cann, who is a podiatrist that is passionate about supporting people with diabetes. We have been wanting to do this discussion for some time because we know how important it is. And as I mentioned in the intro of the podcast, it’s not a subject that’s talked enough about. Usually, people are not paying attention to their feet, until something goes wrong – and that’s true for anybody if you have diabetes or not. The feet are the foundation of everything that we do. And we should really take care of them because we need to literally depend on them for a lifetime. So Sarah Cann is going to talk to us about what podiatry is, how we can take care of our feet, and more. Sarah graduated in 2009 from the University of Wales Institute, Cardiff with a bachelor’s in podiatry. She has over 10 years of experience in the field, working in both the NHS in the UK, and also in private practice here in Dubai. She also worked with the Foot At Risk team in West Wales, where she worked in the areas of diabetes and wound care.


Hello, and welcome to the podcast today I have with me Sarah Cann, who is a podiatrist, working in Dubai at the Parkview Hospital. Sarah, thank you so much for joining me today.


Sarah 1:39

Welcome. Good to be on, finally.


Pam 1:42

Yes, so happy we could do this. Now before I begin with questions, I want to share with everyone how we met, because I think it’s pretty interesting how the universe works. And as a health and wellness coach, we always talk about, you know, manifesting what you want, or doing things with integrity, putting the energy out. A few months ago, at the beginning of the year, there was a business networking event, a socially distant one that I went to, and I did this small thing where they give you 90-seconds to pitch what your business does, just so other people can hear it. And then if someone wants to come up and talk to you about that after, they can. And a man approached me, and he introduced himself and what he did, but he said, “Oh, but you should really meet my wife because she is a podiatrist that is passionate about diabetes”. And I nearly like, not nearly, I froze. Because I’m not kidding when I say that morning, as I was getting ready to get up and start my workday. I said to my husband, ‘If I could just find a podiatrist that was passionate about diabetes”. That same morning, that same day. So within about 12 hours, it happened. So here we are, and I’m so happy that your husband introduced us because podiatry is a discussion that you know needs to happen, that is not talked about enough and many people are not even aware of it. People don’t even know what podiatry is. So why don’t we just start there from the beginning? Can you please tell us exactly, what is podiatry?


Sarah 3:15

So podiatry, basically feet. Anything that can go wrong with feet, but not solely feet. So we actually learn hips downwards. So I always say to patients, you have to think of the feet as your foundation. You’re the building, these are your foundation. So many things can stem from your feet, whether it be little aches and pains in your knee, whether it be a sensation, corns, calluses, ingrown toenails, there’s so much in the feet, and a lot of the time we take our feet for granted. Patients do a lot of self-treatment, or doctor bathroom as I like to call it, before they even come through the door. And like you say, podiatry is very misunderstood. So when I qualified, they actually had just changed the name of it. So it’s gone from being chiropody in the UK to being podiatry, which is the American term. So that was in 2008. They really wanted to push it away from being seen as just somebody that comes in and cuts Granny’s toenails and to being a profession that diagnoses and treats more complex conditions and problems. But also working within a bigger team. So with the endocrinologist, with the rheumatologist, alongside the physios, the orthopedics. I’ve been qualified for 12 years now and it has pushed on, there’s a lot of work around the world and in Dubai as well, to kind of promote what podiatry is and what we do. Certainly in the Middle East, Africa, Asia, they don’t actually have the training for podiatry. So a lot of the podiatrists that I know certainly here, have come from Europe. I think there are a few who are American trained, but you know, we’re kind of almost building a little army to promote what we can do and how we can help everybody with many, many problems, issues and conditions.


Pam 5:31

Why that’s why I said to my husband, I really want to find a good podiatrist. Because I don’t really know of maybe one or two, I’m sure there’s probably more, but I don’t want to say that they’re hiding. But like you said, because it’s not seen as a profession that medical schools are educating or a certain certification program, or really, it’s still very, very new in this region, it’s very hard to come by. And despite all the glamorous, you know, spas and people going to get pedicures and everything here, people don’t ever think of it, in the same terms of, you know, whether it’s physical therapy or an MD or something like that. So that is just starting to really change. And what kind of conditions are you typically dealing with as a podiatrist?


Sarah 6:25

So for myself, my background is diabetes and wound care. So that’s sort of my passion. And that’s where my career has taken me. But you also have the general podiatry. So that would be your ingrown toenails, your corns, calluses, anything that’s sort of hurting the foot, and verrucas, very, very prominent here because of the environment and sort of the outdoor lifestyle. And then you have this second root which is sort of the biomechanical side. So the sports injuries, you know, the orthotics and the management of the biomechanics of the foot. But you know, they do also overlap, you know, the, you have to have an understanding of both of them and, and look at the foot as a whole. And I think that’s where podiatry is quite unique. Because even if we have a bit of crossover with, say, dermatology or orthopedics or physiotherapy, we’re looking at the foot slightly differently, I would say, and kind of understanding the structure of the foot, the mechanics of the foot. And, you know, for example, an ingrown toenail might not just be an ingrown toenail, it might be that somebody has a flatter foot posture. And that’s the pressure that they’re putting on it. So it’s really looking at the foot as, as the foot and everything that’s going on.


Pam 7:48

That’s fascinating, actually. Based on what you described, it sounds like technically, we should all go to a podiatrist before something goes wrong, and get checkups and make sure we have the right shoes because it just sounds all very complex. And when you start thinking about your feet, and the muscles and tendons and everything happening there, should we wait until something’s wrong? Or should we come to you before?


Sarah 8:12

I mean, I’m a big believer in prevention is better than cure. And it’s not saying that everybody needs to now rush in and see their closest podiatrist. But you know it, I think we ignore our feet. Not just with diabetes, for example, but everybody does. We get up in the morning, we put on our shoes, and off we go. It does amaze me sometimes, how long people put up with problems in feet and how long they put up with pain. I have patients come to me and say, Oh, this has been a problem for six months, two years, 10 years, and it’s just been ignored. And I often say if this was on your hand, would you ignore it? And they say, no, of course not. We will go and see the doctor straight away. But it’s almost, out of sight, out of mind. And too often patients put it down to I’ve worn the wrong shoes today, or I’ve done too much on my feet. Instead of thinking this isn’t right, pain is not a normal thing. We shouldn’t have to have pain in our feet. Because the long term impact can be so much more damaging. You’ve got 26 bones in each foot. A foot isn’t exactly a very big, big area. So everything going on, in that, even a slight compression on a nerve can have a bigger impact. So I think it’s more understanding the foot, having an awareness of your foot, having an awareness of your footwear and what you’re doing instead of just carrying on as if it’s normal.


Pam 9:46

And so for prevention, are there things that we can do at home or on our own to take care of our feet or take better care of our feet?


Sarah 9:56

The best bit of advice I think I can give any patient or person is, moisturizing your feet. It doesn’t have to be with a particular foot moisturizer unless you have particularly dry or cracked skin, but just keeping good skin integrity. It’s so important, and good footwear. Footwear is really, really important. In this region, we sometimes struggle a bit with that because we tend to be in flip flops or sandals. But having an awareness that walking around Dubai Mall in flip flops for four hours, is not the best thing for your feet. And we’ve all done it.


But yeah, it’s knowing where you can go if you do have a problem. Say knowing that there is such a thing as podiatrists. That there is somebody that does specialize in the foot, too often patients perhaps have had antibiotics for the condition when actually they just need a toenail sectioned, a bit of nail removed. It’s knowing the right person to go to at the right time instead and not ignoring it.


Pam 11:04

So when you talk about the right shoes to wear, I’m sure no pun intended, no one size fits all. However, when we’re out there looking for shoes, what should we be looking for?


Sarah 11:20

Again, this is quite an important one, with actually making sure you try on both shoes in the shop, I think we’ve all done it, where we’ve gone into a shoe shop, tried one foot on gone ‘great’, I’ll take a pair of these, and then take them home and then they’re not the right shoe. Most people have one foot slightly bigger than the other. So say trying both shoes on is really important. I think having some form of support is good. For example, if we’re looking at a school shoe with the children, having some sort of fastening is better than a slip-on. Having some good sole, nothing too flat and too hard. Because especially in Dubai, the floors are so perfect, so everything is so hard and so flat. So if you haven’t got that shock absorbency in your shoe, it’s gonna hurt you’re gonna start getting a little bit of discomfort in it because say there’s nothing to sort of support the foot there. It’s not about necessarily everybody going out and having an orthopedic shoe, for example, because that’s not practical. It’s choosing the right shoe, for the right occasion. Like I said if you’re going to buy more, make sure you put, you know, a sports shoe or trainers or something supportive on. If you’re going to the beach or the pool, of course, it’s fine to wear your flip flops. But it’s choosing the right shoe for the right activity. Changing your shoes as well is quite important. I have a lot of patients that say “This sport shoe is so comfortable, why am I getting foot pain?” but they’ve had it for two, three years. And of course, it’s comfortable because it’s worn into your foot. But again, it’s lost its shock absorbency, it’s lost its supportive function for when you’re perhaps running or playing sports. So making sure that your shoes are in good nick. Another thing is the wear, you know the wear on the heels. And sometimes handing down shoes to siblings or family members can actually cause that family member pain because if the wear pattern is different on the shoe, of course, then the foot is going to be put in a slightly different position, which can lead to little niggles in the knee. Or I say heel pain for example.


Pam 13:39

I never thought of that. So now you have me rethinking the shoes that I use for my home gym – using the term loosely because when we went into COVID everyone’s working out from home, and I’m like ah I’ll just use these old ones. But now I spend more time exercising at home. The heels all falling apart because they’re just an old pair of running shoes that I keep only for inside now. Oh no. Or I’m upcycling now that my son’s foot is getting bigger. He’s into basketball, and he’s got this really cool pair of shoes. I’m like, oh, they fit me. So now you’re saying I shouldn’t use them. He’ll probably be excited to hear that, because he will find it embarrassing that, even that I’m talking about this. If he hears the podcast he’ll be like “Mom, don’t do it”. So you mentioned you were passionate about diabetes, which I am too obviously. And I love that and I think to work in podiatry and with people with diabetes, that’s super important. What led you to that passion?


Sarah 14:48

It’s actually when I started my first NHS job, which was in Bristol. And Bristol at the time had one of the highest wound care rates in the UK. So a huge percentage of my caseload were diabetic patients that have wounds on their feet. So it’s not just the treatment of the patient, what I really enjoy is the education side. So making sure that these patients are aware of the problems that can happen in diabetes, how that they can look after their feet, but not just the patient themselves, family members, and obviously, diabetes can affect anybody at any stage in their lives. So it’s not just old people, or older people getting diabetes, it’s the Type 1s, the little ones as well. So you know, having a good education about the foot, from day one can prevent so much from happening. And even the conversations that patients have between themselves as well. It’s not just, you know, podiatrist to patient. And then when I moved back to Pembrokeshire, I was put into the diabetes team, so the podiatry team with diabetes. So that’s pretty much what I did day in, day out was diabetic patients and wound care. And I actually developed the program then for education with diabetes, whereby patients would come to an education session before sort of coming through to podiatry. So you know that that passion for diabetes is not just from the treatment, it’s the prevention as well. But that’s so important. And so the education and not just educating patients, either it’s also your colleagues. Because the podiatry, feeling a little bit unknown, it’s important that your colleagues also know what you can do and where to refer the patients to, even with regards to their annual foot check, for example. It’s really important that that is done, because if you can pick up a problem before it becomes a problem, you could be saving somebody’s limb, to an extreme.


Pam 17:11

So when we talk about amputation and diabetes, and this is one reason why I wanted to find a podiatrist, because when we, one of the big things that always bothered me when you go to Google, and you type in diabetes, and it always talks about amputation. And I think there’s still a misunderstanding that diabetes means that you’re going to get a foot or something amputated. And we know that’s not the case. And of course, if diabetes is managed well and we’re taking care of ourselves, that should not be the case. What advice could you give to people with diabetes? As far as in addition to you know, moisturizing regularly, what else should they be doing to take care of their feet? And when should they come to see you if, you know, in addition to like a regular checkup? But if there’s something indicator or something that happens when you know is a red flag, they should come to visit you?


Sarah 18:10

Yeah. So I say everybody ideally should have a foot check once a year, which looks at your blood supply, your nerve supply, and the condition of the foot. It’s a lot easier for a podiatrist to pick up on problems, as opposed to the patient themselves that might not necessarily think something is a problem or an issue. Looking after your feet, so making sure that your socks are changed regularly, that your shoes are not fitting too tightly, that you’re wearing the right shoe, for the right task in hand. The two main things with diabetes and the foot that can happen, are the loss of sensation. So the damage to the little nerves in the feet, but also the loss of the circulation or the blood flow to the feet. So there are a few things that can happen because of this. So for example, the loss of sensation, you’re not always aware of hurting your foot. So for example, if you stepped on something, are you aware that you have stepped on something? Has it caused a little wound, is there a foreign body still stuck in the foot? So checking the feet, even if you can’t get to your foot physically, putting a mirror on the floor, and looking at the underneath of a foot, or asking a family member to check. Making sure that the toenails are cut straight across, not cutting down the sides. If you do go for pedicures, again making sure that they don’t prod and poke too much. It’s really important to make sure that that happens because even a tiny little bit of nail piercing the side can lead to a bigger problem. Some patients with diabetes are more prone to infections. Certainly, if the sugar isn’t controlled, and if that infection isn’t treated, of course, it can lead to a bigger problem. So management of the foot. Fungal infections are another thing that can be more prominent. Certainly in this region where the environment is a lot hotter, we tend to be a little bit more active. So we are more prone to fungal infections because fungus loves warm, moist environments. So making sure that your socks are changed regularly using perhaps antifungal sprays, powders, even natural antifungal treatments like tea tree oil, it’s one of my favorite things, you know, diluting it a little bit in some olive oil or coconut oil, and just applying to the feet and the nails can help combat any fungal infections. But also, if you do notice anything, whether it be discoloration in the nail, dryness in the skin, seeking advice, and not just Dr. Google, because like you said, a lot of Dr. Google goes straight to amputations. And it’s sad as a podiatrist for me that when I have patients come in that are so worried that they’re going to end up with an amputation because their uncle has had one or their mother or a family member has ended up with an amputation. You know, as a podiatrist, it’s so important that we try and prevent these things from happening. And I say, education is a big part of that.


Pam 21:29

Yeah, I love that. And I think one of the first times I met you, and you were telling me about, you know, podiatry and what you do. And I just felt so much better, because also with a child with diabetes, it’s something you know, you worry about for the long term because he was diagnosed so young. But I think you know, I always say on the podcast, go ask your doctor. I bet if you’re, if you have diabetes, you’re seeing an endocrinologist. I don’t think they’re going to say don’t get your feet checked. Yeah, this is really, really great advice. And I love that about tea tree oil. I love tea tree oil. I learn something new every time I talk to you. And this is like a gem that we can all be doing.


So when someone comes for a checkup because I saw you in action, I actually took my son to see Sarah a couple of weeks back. Then he had a foot injury at school and in PE they were playing Capture the Flag, and I guess it was really intense and he fell and then he kept complaining of foot pain. And so I thought, Okay, it’s time for him to get a checkup. It had been a while since he had seen a podiatrist. I took him once before when he said he was having some sharp pain. And I was worried about neuropathy, even though he’s fairly well managed. But then I took him to see Sarah, because that previous appointment had been a while, and I got to see her in action. And it’s more than just like her looking at your feet. She does so many different things to make sure that everything is functioning. And as it should be, can you tell us what someone should expect from a thorough podiatry checkup?


Sarah 23:09

Okay, so, podiatry check, when I do it, first of all, you need to know about the patient’s diabetic history. How is the HBA1C, you know, how are they feeling in themselves, Because that education starts from the moment somebody walks into the door. And it might be a case that perhaps a patient hasn’t even seen their endocrinologist for a number of years, they’re almost self-medicating, they’ve not been for a checkup. So sort of asking these questions to a patient and making them think about their own care with diabetes, in general, is always a good place to start. Because if they haven’t been to see somebody, it’s important that you kind of let them know that they should be going to see somebody for even you know, their general checkup. So once I get you onto the patient chair, there’s two main things that I’m looking at. Like I said, it’s the blood flow. So most of the time with a podiatrist as long as they have it in hand it will be done with a little handheld Doppler. So that’s looking at the pulses in your feet. You’ve got two main pulse points which are on the top of the foot, on the dorsum of the foot, and then behind the ankle bone or the malleolus. So making sure that that blood flow is as it should be. There are also things that can happen with the blood flow that would lead to pain in the back of the leg, which is called claudication. So again, making sure that these questions are asked and letting patients know what they should be looking for. You know, if you are walking around Dubai Mall and you find you can’t go more than 10 steps without pain, is there something going on with the blood flow, it’s not just the foot itself. The foot is at the end of the body so the blood has to travel a long way. By the time it gets to your toes, so say checking the blood flow with the Doppler. If a podiatrist doesn’t have a Doppler on hand, they can feel the pulse points with their fingers. Obviously, if there’s any issues with picking up the pulse points, then you know referral on to vascular, maybe is something that happens. So once the vascular assessment is done, I move on to look at the sensation, so your nerves. And these are the ones that sometimes patients think are going to hurt because there’s too little, little instruments that I use. One is the monofilament 10 grams, which is checking five sensation points on the feet, it’s a very, very light touch, and some patients are expecting a lot more, sometimes it’s a little bit of a, you have to go back to the start once they’ve kind of got used to the feeling, to make sure that they have or haven’t felt it. So that’s five, five points of sensation. What 10 grams on the monofilament is, it’s your minimum threshold of protection. So basically making sure if you stepped on a stone if you had something inside of your shoe, are you going to feel it? Are you going to be aware that there is something there? The second little test I do is actually something called a fiber tip, which is a tiny little device that sends out a vibration sensation. Some patients may have a tuning fork done, I use the Vibra tip because again, it’s looking at your minimum threshold of protection. So once those little tests are done, it’s checking between the toes, the skin quality, looking for the fungal infections. Is there anything within the nails, on the skin, is there dryness in the feet, but also looking at your movements in your feet or your muscle tone, your strength and your feet because it’s not just the nerve and the blood supply to the foot as a whole to the muscles, ligaments, tendons, these also need a blood supply. So if there’s anything with the function of the foot or anything to do with muscle weakness, again, is that something to do with diabetes? Or does it need further investigation? Sometimes we’ll have a little look at the gaits and how somebody is walking and standing. Do they need some support? Do they need some physiotherapy? Do they just need to do some simple exercising at home that’s going to help with the strength and the condition of the fittest as well? And then I tend to round up with education, you know, talking to the patient about how to look after their feet, what they need to look out for and not to panic you know and if you do notice anything come to see the podiatrist or you know, do seek medical help you know don’t just ignore it and think it’s okay. It’s better to go and see somebody for something minor that ended up leaving it and coming in with something much bigger.


Pam 28:05

For sure. And for people that aren’t in a bar that can’t make an appointment with you, what should they look for when they’re looking for a podiatrist?


Sarah 28:17

For podiatrists, there are different trainings, so depending on of course where you are, which part of the world you’re in, it’s certainly for the UK for example, is making sure you’re seeing an actual podiatrist, as opposed to a foot health practitioner who you know, can obviously treat the foot but then is not perhaps looking at the foot as being a medical condition. It’s not just going for a pedicure. Making sure that you know somebody is aware of diabetes in the foot. There’s a lot of good information out there online as well if a podiatrist isn’t accessible, and say you know even having a family member to check over your foot, kind of knowing what to look for and having that education and say if your family member thinks okay these toenails are not quite, you know, as they should be or the foot is dry, the heels the cracking and then doing that, that sort of self-care at home as well.


Pam 29:22

Okay. And earlier in our discussion, you mentioned about you know, some podiatrists specialize in sports and you know activities and things like that for the feet. So the question, all of these shoes that they market to us for different sports: True or False?


Sarah 29:42

It’s a bit of both. It really does depend on the sport and activity. And you know, running shoes or sports shoes have developed so much over the years. And kind of gone are the days of a patient coming in with foot pain, and just sort of sending them away and saying, buy a sports shoe. Because although sports shoes have become quite fashionable, some of them have actually lost their practicality as a sports shoe. Everybody’s sport is different. And I think sometimes we do buy into these, these ideas, or these types of shoes that perhaps don’t actually suit our foot. You know, I think about 85% of the world’s population pronate a little bit, one when we stand, because our whole body weight is on them, it doesn’t necessarily mean you need a sports shoe for over protonating. I think, you know, when we are doing any sort of activity, whether it be running, hopping, skipping, or jumping, your foot’s gonna tell you if your shoes are not right. It doesn’t mean you have to spend hundreds of dollars, initially getting a certain shoe, if actually, the footwear that you have is suiting you, I’d say it’s more important to have that good shock absorbency. And that good ankle support. Some of these sorts of knitted and lighter shoes, don’t actually give you any support in the foot. So if you are jumping, and landing or you’re more prone to rolling, because you haven’t got the support actually on the shoe. I wouldn’t say there’s a particular brand or model that is necessarily better than another. It’s really what suits your foot.


Pam 31:30

Okay, that’s good to know. Because I guess growing up in a time when yes, you know, Nike, Reebok, those were the kind of the only two in the beginning. There were a few others. And then you know, there were running shoes. And that was a really big deal to get one for running. And I remember buying the first one, or my first pair of running shoes. And now I struggle to pick one because there’s so many. This support, that support, long-distance, short-distance. It doesn’t make me run any faster, unfortunately. And I think it’s overwhelming for people, especially if they’re just trying to get into a new sport or exercise. Basketball is a whole other level because you have all the players and the sponsorships and they look really cool, but maybe they’re not as supportive. So that just confuses the matter. So that’s really good to know because I think the shoe industry, especially when it comes to sports, is a bit overwhelming. And like you said, now the thinner ones. I see people wearing them like oh that looks so cool. I mean often they’re really expensive when they look that cool, but they don’t give a lot of support. And it’s been my experience that sometimes also, people working in large sports shops don’t really have the training and background to fit somebody for a sports shoe. Before I moved here, I used to go, when I was running a lot, I would go to a running shop where they had, now I think they have a software that analyzes how you run. It takes a video of you running on a treadmill and that’s pretty intense and futuristic and I’m not saying everyone needs to do that, I don’t think that’s necessary. But like my husband was advised to buy a certain shoe he went and ran the rack half marathon with it and got a PR but also got like an Achilles injury in the process because it wasn’t, you know, maybe the best shoe for him. So there’s a lot to think about. Very good. Okay so then, and also socks. Is there a particular better kind of fabric of socks to wear?


Sarah 33:36

I would say the cotton socks and your bamboo socks like the bamboo fibres are actually a little bit better than the synthetic ones from an absorption cooling point of view. Again you can get, it’s depending on the activity, you wouldn’t want to go hiking in a very very thin sock that perhaps is the cotton fibre you know you need a little bit more cushioning. But generally day to day rule I would say a cotton sock is a better option for you.


Pam 34:10

I wasn’t looking to plug it but when you said bamboo socks in our shop online, we have bamboo socks. I had never tried them before. When we were approached by this company and they had, you know, these different socks, I said well, never tried a bamboo one. I’m gonna buy one and try it. I love them. They’re so soft. And I’m not just saying that to sell it. I’m absolutely in love with these socks. They’re amazing. And I get sad like I only have a couple of pairs so I’m sad when they’re dirty and I need to do laundry again because they’re the best socks ever. I’ll put the link in the show notes if anybody’s interested in that. But that makes me really happy. Happy to hear.


So my final question, if there’s, you know, any one or two things that you would like the world to know about the most important things about podiatry or taking care of the foot? Any final words? or thoughts? What would that be?


Sarah 35:14

I think just being aware what podiatry is or who we are and, and having access to us. I think podiatry is so important with diabetes, and, you know, just please go through your annual checkup, even if you think nothing is wrong, and your foot has been fine for the whole 12 months prior, just go for your annual checkup. I think it’s really important, you know, touch base with, with your podiatrist and even just, to know that everything’s okay. Sometimes having that cuddle to go, you’re doing a good job is, actually really, it’s really important, and it’s good to enforce this kind of positive attitude towards diabetes, and encouraging patients to look after their diabetes, look after themselves, and take their health into their own hands. I think in the past, it’s been too easy, perhaps for a patient sometimes to just let the doctor deal with it. But taking this, this positive step towards looking after yourself is so important. And say, you know, just checking your feet, if you have a tight shoe, and it’s caused a problem, try not to wear it again. Don’t always persist and think it’s gonna get better. And no doctor bathroom being, no, taking out ingrown toenails, or corns with the scissors in the bathroom cupboard, go into professionals to get it done.


Pam 36:52

I think that’s really good advice. And I’m one of those guilty, I’m like, Oh, these shoes are fine, they’re gonna break in and get softer. And it could be really painful. And I love what you said. And what I’m going to say might be a little bit provocative. But insurance companies, if you’re listening, yeah, it’d be amazing, if you cover podiatry checkups as a preventive measure. It baffles me, the number of insurance companies that would rather pay for, “a cure”, which is more expensive, you know, than sometimes surgery or a procedure, rather than paying for even one visit per year for a person with diabetes to a podiatrist. And yeah, because people, then people won’t take care of themselves, they’re not going to go because maybe they can’t even afford it. And by doing that, you’re just increasing the risk of having a complication in the long run, and not saving money. And I was sharing with Sarah actually before the call my son went to her as I mentioned in our discussion recently, and just to make sure there were no hairline fractures or nothing broken, we said okay, let’s get an X-ray. And the X-ray department could not, for our insurance, accept the order from Sarah, a podiatrist, an excellent certified, very experienced podiatrist for an X-ray. So we had to go see the orthopedic surgeon, who, in the end, requested an X-ray of both feet to do a comparison, which is also clinically very acceptable. But it costs the insurance company more in the long run because taking two pictures is more expensive than one. So all I’m saying is if you work in the insurance industry, and you are listening, we are pro prevention, whenever possible. And I think it’s very important to encourage people with diabetes to intervene as early as possible. And this can be done if they’re going for checkups. And then also all the education that Sarah discussed as well, that’s priceless. Yep so on that note, I think we’ll wrap up this interview.


Sarah, thank you so so much for joining me today. And taking time out of your busy, hectic schedule to speak with me. I really appreciate it. And I think that this podcast episode will help so many people because podiatry is something that’s very, relatively new for everyone. If you’re out there, and you are curious to find more products to support you in foot care, we are actually launching a foot care kit. And we’ve actually worked with Sarah on this project specifically. We are so blessed that she shared her expertise and advice and she’s answered all our questions about the products, the best products that you can get. And I just love it so much because we’ve truly collaborated with an expert on this to you know, to make things better, make your life easier and have it all available for you. So Sarah, again, thank you for everything that you’ve done to support us.


Sarah 39:55

Thank you for having me.


Pam 39:56

Have a wonderful day and I’ll talk to you soon. I want to again thank Sarah Cann for joining us for this episode of the podcast. It was truly an eye-opening discussion and we learned so much about taking care of our feet. It is much much more than any of us thought. And we really appreciate that and also all the work that she does in focusing on people with diabetes. She is truly an expert. The care kits that I mentioned, they have launched and they’re now available in the online shop and we’ll put the link for that in the show notes. So please feel free to go there, have a look. We collaborated with Sarah on those to make sure that we were selecting the right products for people with diabetes, to make sure that you get what you need. And if you have any questions, please reach out to Sarah at the link that we’re going to leave in the show notes. You can make an appointment with her. She’s absolutely excellent, an excellent podiatrist and very thorough with her patients. And thank you for listening to the podcast. If you like what you heard, please feel free to share it with your friends. We really appreciate it. Have a great day.

Show Notes and Links

Disclaimer: It should go without saying that the Diapoint podcast is not intended as or should not be used as personal medical advice. You will hear us interview medical experts and others, but please always always ask your qualified doctor, diabetes team or other expert about your health. What works for one person does not always work for another person. What you should always do when you discover any new health information is ask YOUR doctor about it. This information should empower you to have a discussion with your healthcare providers about it. Diapoint, our guests, sponsors and business partners are not here to replace that advice. Living a full, healthy life means taking the proper medical advice from your qualified physicians, diabetes team or other healthcare providers.

Our Sponsors

Diabetes Foot Care Kit

This episode is sponsored by the Diapoint Diabetes Foot Care Kit.

The foot is one of the most important, but yet, most overlooked parts of our body. It is literally the foundation for everything we do. Therefore it is so important to take care of your feet, and why we created this special collection.

Created with the input of one of Dubai’s leading Podiatrists and this episode’s guest, Sarah Cann, the Diapoint Foot Care Kit has everything you need!


About Dia-Logue: The Diapoint Podcast and Pamela Durant

Here at Dia-logue: The Diapoint Podcast, we talk to experts and people living with diabetes about social situations, nutrition, mental health, travel, and many other topics related to health and wellness.

The Founder & Managing Director of Diapoint, Pam Durant, shares her experience as the mother a teenage son who was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at 20 months old.

Pam was also a healthcare manager for 25+ years, and is a certified Wellness and Lifestyle Medicine coach. She is passionate about showing people how to not just survive, but thrive.

If you are interested in appearing as a guest, please email us at We would love to hear your story and your connection to diabetes.

For more information about our work visit us at and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @DiapointME.

DIa-Logue podcast about diabetes

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Sponsor diabetes podcast

Are you a business or brand looking to expand your reach and connect with potential customers? Do you want to showcase the unique value and products that your business offers? If so, we’d like to invite you to become a sponsor of our podcast.

By sponsoring our show, you will have the chance to target important individuals who are interested in improving their health and wellness, and are in search of valuable advice on how to achieve success.

We offer competitive rates and packages to suit every budget.

If you would like further information or have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact us. Reach out to Pam Durant at

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